it's all grace

a journey with the Thomason family

Tag: food (page 1 of 3)

Father’s Day in Prague

Happy Father’s Day!

Father's Day in Prague (6/21/15)

In another incredible adventure we have made our way today back to Prague. I never thought we would end up here as much as we have, especially in the past few weeks, but it’s been really fun and crazy all at the same time. Just like we did a few weeks ago, we made our here today via the train station right by our house. We walked there this morning, caught an 8am train and got into Prague about 20 minutes after noon. Below are a few photos from the train ride, including the one above. In the photos below we walked to the “kids car” and played for a bit. These aren’t are actual seats (those were in a different car), but the kids made a little friend while we were in the there.

Father's Day in Prague (6/21/15)

Father's Day in Prague (6/21/15)

When we got in to Prague we made our way down to the Metro (subway) and accidentally got on the wrong side of the tracks, took the elevator back up and over, and finally got to where we needed to be. We packed really light this trip since we’ll only be here one night so it wasn’t too bad getting around with all five of us. The Metro took us to a transfer station where we caught another Metro headed towards a lunch place that we made reservations at. There is a burger joint in Prague that supposedly has the one of the top five burgers in Europe and a friend had recommended it. Since burgers are my favorite thing on the planet and they are not super common here, we had to go for it. I’m STOKED we did because it was amazing and my Father’s Day belly left full and happy! Here’s a photos of the kids and Bethany as we walked.

Father's Day in Prague (6/21/15)

What I never understood as just a tourist, but now understand so much better, is if you’re going to stay in big European cities…rent an apartment. Tonight we are staying in a literal castle view apartment that is about a stones throw from the U.S. Embassy (which is why we’re here this weekend) and it’s costing us less than you’re cheap Motel 6 in the States. Not only that, but this is a large 2 bedroom apartment with a full kitchen! Check out this view from one of our windows.

Father's Day in Prague (6/21/15)

Here’s a few more shots from around the building.

Father's Day in Prague (6/21/15)

Father's Day in Prague (6/21/15)

Father's Day in Prague (6/21/15)

Father's Day in Prague (6/21/15)

Here’s a view of the American flag that we can see flying above the embassy from the other side of our apartment (small flag in the upper left).

Father's Day in Prague (6/21/15)

Tonight we (unbelievably) had dinner on a boat on the river, in Prague, with a view of the Charles Bridge and the castle. I’m not kidding you. I never in my life thought I would ever get to say or write that, but it’s another recommended, affordable restaurant that was walking distance from our apartment. The only issue we had was that the kids kept asking why the boat wasn’t moving! Here’s a few photos from the place and then a shot of it from the bridge.

Father's Day in Prague (6/21/15)

Father's Day in Prague (6/21/15)

The restaurant is in the middle boat (dead center) next to the wall (in the photo below)

Father's Day in Prague (6/21/15)

Our appointment for Karis’ U.S. citizenship, passport, and social security card is tomorrow at 9:00am so we’ll be up early to get packed up and make sure we get to our appointment early. I’ve tried to check and re-check every document that is required and we’re really hoping the process will go smoothly. I no reason to doubt that it will, but I’m always weary of government things like this, even ones that only involve the U.S.! Pray for us as we go tomorrow that things would be in order and go smoothly so we can get Karis’ documents and then take the next step towards getting her a visa.

Well, that’s not a bad way to spend a Father’s Day and not a bad way to end this post. Good night!

Another Wild Day in Czech (In Photos)

Somehow I ended up with a ton of photos from today so I thought I’d just tell today’s story in photos (with captions beneath each). Let’s do this!

A Wild Day in Czech (6/19/15)

It was raining and cooler this morning so Titus and I donned rain jackets and umbrellas while walking him to school today. I probably should have sent him to school with rain boots, but I was worried we would be late for some event they were going to be leaving for. But I found out when they got there that it had been cancelled due to rain. Go figure.

A Wild Day in Czech (6/19/15)

The word “easy” in the photo above is a little misleading. From Titus’ school I walked over to this cosmetic drug store thing (so hard to explain what it is) that apparently has the only instant photo machine in our town. It was 8:15am and they had just opened. There I was in my black rain coat, looking really shady walking around the store looking for something I couldn’t find which was the machine you see above. I eventually left without saying anything and I’m pretty sure I saw the lady checking my hands as I grabbed my umbrella and walked out the door. Thanks to Rachael and Martina who I texted about this, I went back to the store about and hour later and was able to find the tiny machine.

A Wild Day in Czech (6/19/15)

I had to get prints made for Karis’ passport photos and this was my best option. I finally figured out the machine while the lady tried to explain things to me in Czech. I did finally leave with 6 prints, all of which cost me about $1.25! I was stoked and left a happy man.

A Wild Day in Czech (6/19/15)

Here’s some of her mug shots, I mean, her passport photos.

A Wild Day in Czech (6/19/15)

Karis had a doctor’s appointment today so Bethany gave her a bath just before lunch. I ended up taking Karis in her towel and placing her in front our little heater because she was a little cold and crying. She calmed right down.

A Wild Day in Czech (6/19/15)

Bethany, Karis, and our friend Martina drove to the next town over to the hospital where they had referred Karis. They actually did an ultrasound on her hips/legs. They’ve done that in the States, but it’s just an internal check to make sure there’s no issues with her internally. I believe in the States they just do a physical check with the doctor’s hands, but here’s just a little different. While the girls went to the appointment, Titus and I walked over to the haircut place and I got a trim (no photos of that, sorry!). I did get to show some photos of the baby to my hairdresser lady so that was fun.

A Wild Day in Czech (6/19/15)

When Titus and I walked to get a haircut we saw they they had set up a huge carnival deal in the town square. I believe it’s a big celebration for both our town and the sister city in Poland. I believe they are celebrating the founding of the city or something like that, but whatever it is, it’s important. They went big for this one with rides and tons of shops and food. Below are a ton of photos of what we saw.

A Wild Day in Czech (6/19/15)

I love that the ride above has an image from Toy Story which is actually a sad part of the movie.

A Wild Day in Czech (6/19/15)

A Wild Day in Czech (6/19/15)

A Wild Day in Czech (6/19/15)

Sweet tooth, anyone?

A Wild Day in Czech (6/19/15)

A Wild Day in Czech (6/19/15)

The grills were looking good! I may be wrong but I think something on there might be pork knee (a Czech favorite from what I can tell).

A Wild Day in Czech (6/19/15)

The huge stage already had local dance crew performances going on.

A Wild Day in Czech (6/19/15)

This “bowl” was probably 4 feet across. Sausage and potatoes…yummy.

A Wild Day in Czech (6/19/15)

A Wild Day in Czech (6/19/15)

A Wild Day in Czech (6/19/15)

A Wild Day in Czech (6/19/15)

A Wild Day in Czech (6/19/15)

A Wild Day in Czech (6/19/15)

We ended up going back to the town square as a family this evening so the kids could play and we could get dessert as a family. It was a much different experience from when Titus and I were there a few hours earlier because the place was jumping with people and live music. We ended up getting some traditional Trdelník with cinnamon (it’s so yummy!) and then bough tickets for the big bounce house slide thing.

A Wild Day in Czech (6/19/15)

This is Titus and me waiting for his turn to go up the big slide. I had bought a ticket for Avery to go up to, but she wasn’t “up” for it…get it, “up” for it… because it’s really tall. Yes, tall… like me as I stick out like 8 feet above everyone else in this photo.

Here’s a 30 second video I got of Titus enjoying the slide.

A Wild Day in Czech (6/19/15)

Lastly, here’s Karis as she rode around in the stroller tonight. She was awake most of the time and did great. We had to bundle here up pretty good because it was like 55 degrees out (dead serious).

There you have it–another day in the life of our little family. In the words of Porky the Pig, “That’s all folks!”

Rainy Day in May

If this was California you would think it was winter. It was about 50 degrees today and rainy, a far cry from the 70+ degree weather we’ve been enjoying lately. Honestly, it doesn’t bother because I think the colder air and rain keep the bugs under control, especially those pesky mosquitos. For the kids, however, it’s a bit of a bummer because that means they don’t get much outside time which they have been loving so much. Even now at almost 9:00pm the rain continues to come, but I know warmer days are sure to come.

Now I want to talk about dogs. I mentioned a few days ago about a little black dog that has been coming around the JV office and after Bethany read that particular post she said it sounded like I don’t like dogs. I just want to set the record straight and be clear that I actually do like dogs. I grew up around dogs and enjoyed many great ones, but maybe they set the bar too high for me because I rarely find a dog anymore that I like as much as the ones I grew up. This may be true for a lot of people who had childhood animals, but I like to think that ours were just a cut above. Numerous times my Dalmatian, Sparky, saved me from imminent danger and was kind of like my best boyhood pal. When a dog like Sparky shows up then I might care more, but until then I think that little black dog at the office is just a little nuisance.

This evening our friends from Poland stopped by with lots of goodies because they know how sick we’ve been. I was especially excited to look in to the bag and find some of this Polish fruit juice that we love so much. It was so kind of them and we’re excited to try some of the new foods they brought us that we’ve never had before. Bethany actually made potato soup tonight which really felt right with all the rain today. Warm soup on a cool day just makes sense. Unfortunately for me I wasn’t able to completely enjoy it because I still can’t taste anything. One week running with no sense of taste is just, well, bland.

On Trying New Things

Friday (4/17/15)

We had our weekly language lesson this morning with Tamara and it was a very helpful one. Above you can see a photo of us trying to categorize certain words based on masculine, feminine, and neuter and then we had to add an adjective in front of it. In English this really isn’t too hard grammatically, but in Czech there are a lot of things that change based on the gender. The simple act of drilling these things is always so helpful to get it to really stick.

Friday (4/17/15)

This afternoon we were driving up to our house after picking up Titus from school and we saw the postal service lady on her bike delivering our mail. As we got closer we saw her launch a package over our fence on to the wet brick. When I say “launch,” I mean it. That bad boy flew! After parking the car in the garage Titus ran and got the package off the ground and I heard him say, “Hey!!!” as he realize who’s name was on there. He saw “Titus Thomason” written on the front and it was a package from Nana and Papa for his birthday. He was so excited (as you can see in the photo above) and I quickly grabbed my camera to try and capture his emotions. We haven’t let him open it just yet, but he’s getting excited about turing five next week!

Earlier this week I was driving in to the office and I was thinking about how much harder it is to try new things. As we’ve been here almost 10 months we’ve basically settled in to a routine and haven’t really branched out as much lately as we did in the beginning. This goes for everything from food we buy at the store, trying new coffee houses or restaurants, and even just exploring the town. Now, it has been pretty cold until recently so walking the town hasn’t been high on the priority list, but I still think we were a lot more open to getting out there and seeing things in the early days of arriving here.

Friday (4/17/15)

With that in mind, today at our lessons we were talking to Tamara about our town and things and she mentioned that the Polish side of the town we live in has really good, inexpensive restaraunts. She even pulled out her computer and showed them to us on a map. We wrote some notes and I even put some info in to my phone so that we might explore that later. But this afternoon Bethany said, “Do you want to go try one of those new places Tamara told us about?” I said, “Sure, let’s do it.” Her next questions was, “Are you sure you’re up for that?” What she’s trying to ask is, “Are you ready for the language barrier and the hassle of getting out trying something new.” Because Bethany knows that it’s not easy, just the same way I do. I think that’s part of the reason we haven’t explored more in the recent months. It’s not easy to get out there and test the waters, be vulnerable, make mistakes, waste time, be confused, etc. But we decided to venture out and I’m glad we did!

Friday (4/17/15)

The restaurant we went to is only a few minutes from us by car, just inside the border of Poland. It’s in the town square and we’ve been there before, and the kids love chasing the birds around. The place we ate was inexpensive and the waiter spoke English which made the experience for us much nicer. The hardest time we had was trying to figure out how to pay for our parking because I didn’t have any Polish coins! I ended up using an ATM to get wash, walking into a Kabob shop and buying a coke just to get change (again, inconvenience often keeps us from trying new things). But we had a sweet time with the kids and we even went ahead and tried their vanilla ice cream with hot raspberry sauce dessert…mmm….it was good. We all loved our food and I’m just really glad we tried something different today. I’m constantly amazed at how hard it actually is to get yourself to do something you know will be annoying, hard, and difficult, even when it’s just going to a new place to eat! That’s all part of the transition, I guess?

Culinary Arts and Warm Days

“Do you want to see something amazing?” That’s what the text read on my phone that I got from Bethany this morning. “Yes,” I typed quickly back. I had never really gotten a text like that from Bethany so I was very excited about what was to to follow. “Avery made this all by herself,” Bethany wrote, followed by this photo:

Avery's Pretty Things (4/16/15)

When I got home I showed Avery that photo on my phone and asked her what it was and she said “a flower!” Not bad for a three year old. Maybe she has a future in the culinary arts?

Titus got in on the fun as well.

Culinary Arts (4/16/15)

As the days continue to warm up, Bethany has been taking the kids outside for lunch on the grass and play time. Today the kids were exploring in our landlord’s garden (which we also have access too) and picking little flowers. Bethany made a little daisy chain bracelet for Avery which she was really excited about it. I know I’ve already written this, but Avery continues to make us laugh as she grows in her speaking and personality. She’s about as girly as ever and I think it’s great.

Avery's Pretty Things (4/16/15)

Along with warmer days, we have longer days which allow us to play outside when I get home. The last few days I’ve been going out in the yard with the kids and playing basketball, soccer, and even tossing the Frisbee around. Titus has been getting pretty good at it so I took a short video of him throwing today (below). He also does a great job of catching the ones I toss back. I love it!

Frisbee Titus from Shay on Vimeo.

That’s all for today!

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